Creating OER in Pressbooks

9 Cloning and Importing

In this chapter, you will learn some of the ways that Pressbooks enables you to reuse, revise, and remix educational content. You can clone an entire book, adding a new copy to your network. You can also import content into a book.


Cloning and importing are different processes that can be easily confused with each other. First, let’s consider cloning.

To clone a book is to make a new copy of that book. During the cloning process, the book that you copy is called the source book. The new copy, which during the cloning process is called the target book, is added to your Pressbooks network. Only a public, openly licensed book that is published in a Pressbooks network can be cloned.

Why might you want to clone a book? Pressbooks explains:

Book cloning enables a wide range of open pedagogical practices for both individuals and institutions. For example, cloning empowers students to collaborate on and improve ‘living resources’ that have been sustained over several iterations of a course, allows teachers to duplicate and immediately begin personalizing books specifically for their students’ needs, enables course chairs or program leads to quickly update shared course material (like syllabi) each semester without altering or destroying previous versions, and lets universities freely share public teaching and research materials they have developed for quick adoption and adaptation by others.

"" For more information on cloning, including step-by-step instructions on how to clone a book, see the chapter Clone a Book in the Pressbooks User Guide.


The import tool enables you to add content to an existing book. You might add a chapter or two or more from another book into a book you are making. You might add content from several different sources into your book. Or, you might have material of your own that you have created in a different file format that you now want to add to your book.

The import tool in Pressbooks can work with the following file formats:

  • EPUB (.epub)
  • Word document (.docx)
  • OpenOffice documents (.odt)
  • Pressbooks/WordPress XML (.xml or .wxr)
  • Web page (.html or URL)

You may need to clean up the formatting of material that you use the import tool to add to your book.

Also, be aware that you need to have created at least the shell of a book before you can start importing content into Pressbooks. You cannot import content (including an entire book) directly into the network; you can import it only into an existing book.

"" For more information on importing, including step-by-step instructions on how to use the import tool, see the chapters Tools and Bring Your Content into Pressbooks in the Pressbooks User Guide.


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CUNY Pressbooks Guide Copyright © 2022 by Andrew McKinney; Rachael Nevins; and Elizabeth Arestyl is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.